Also Known As:
Beckett’s Petworks, Bucket’s, Beck’s Runway, Rain Season
The Vale; Mianmir’s “Rainfall,” a Marsco-owned convention center and shopping district that’s a corptown of its own, wrapped around a pair of waterfalls in the posh Tithonium region
To most of Sol, Beckett’s is an occasional overhyped joke, a mars-annual two-day show of the pampered pets of Valles Marineris’s wealthy afficionados…the most beautiful, the most graceful, the most exotic, and in most cases, the most heavily genetically engineered creatures on the planet.
That would be the pets, not their owners, but it’s The Vale, so who knows.
This is absolutely true, but it only scratches the surface of what goes on at Beckett’s. As the high point of the designer-pet year, Beckett’s Petworks is the so-very-plush centerpiece for two weeks of spinoff events and industry meetings. This informal tangle of events is called the “Rainy Season,” after the elegant corptown and shopping district Rainfall. Built around and through the conflux of the Tithonium and Ius river systems, Rainfall is studded with waterfalls, impressive Flowform water sculptures, canals, boatways and so on. Any “wet dog” jokes have already been made.
While the Beckett’s Petworks show is the broadcast highlight of Rainy Season, it’s only a piece of what goes on in Rainfall during its busiest two weeks. The small but very wealthy community of high-end luxury animal-augmentation researchers and practitioners travels from across Sol to two weeks of elbow-rubbing and official and unofficial industry events. The flood of media coverage and credits from animal medical concerns and makers of ludicrously priced accessories make Rainfall devoted to this dog-and-pony show.
Two other events play out on Rainfall’s stages and pavillions, both dipped in playful irony–and since it’s The Vale, also topped with a generous scoop of privilege. “Buckets” is a tongue-in-cheek animal show several convention centers downriver from the big stage, on the last day of Beckett’s Petworks. Most of the Vectors there take pride in their scruffy pets, more natural critters without the genetic sculpting and high design of Beckett’s. They’re just as spoiled, of course, and the real estate between the two events is the most desirable vendor space in the area that day. After Beckett’s closes down, the media sprints across Rainfall to the outdoor party at Buckets, where a team of judges–some of them just finished with their paid gigs–crown the “Ugliest Pet in Sol.” There’s usually a parade, unless the poor creature is tottering on the path to death’s front door already, which is the case as often as not. The last few years have been dominated by a fish of all things, “Prawndo,” a weird two-headed creature allegedly caught on Europa…
Just as snarky and booze-soaked as Buckets, but with fewer leashes, Beck’s Runway launches around midnight on the night before the Petworks show. The Runway is a popular fashion show launched decades ago by a clique of Canidae family models as an indie, “by models, for models” event. Over the decades it’s been co-opted by three Canidae-run fashion corporations, but they’ve kept the show’s edgy look and dark humor, even if it’s entirely corporate. It’s hard to escape corporate.
All in all the two weeks of the Rainy Season are a strange hybrid of homey and hypercompetitive. Beck’s Runway is its own thing, but the rest of the Season is, according to the brochure, all about a shared love of companion animals. In practice, just under the surface is a warren of intrigue and recrimination, feuds that outlive most of the well-heeled critters on display.
Need to Know (before you go)
Prepare to spend all your creds, unless you can get your corporation to write off the week as a business expense. Most visitors do, which creates a price feedback loop. But you can eat nearly free by crashing catered events.
♃ I don’t do that kind of work anymore… Illyne Zivago, Flesh Weaver, has been out of the public eye since her work on virally-transmitted genetic modification escaped her lab. Lately evidence of her work has been turning up on the competitive animal circuit, and either the PCs or their employer would find her very useful as a consultant.
♃ Gone Feral: The PCs are searching for a lateral who’s gone into hiding somewhere in the scruffy and beery scene that is Bucket’s. Can they find and extricate their quarry without creating the kind of PR disaster that only unleashing heavy ordinance in a parkful of homely and amiable pets can cause? Even better if the party’s lateral is willing to help infiltrate.
♃ Dog and Pony Show (without the ponies) If one of the PCs is a member of the glitterati, they may have been invited to take a turn on the runway at Beck’s, a great chance to see and be seen by any number of fashion elites. A rival corporation controlled by Ungulata with a particularly fiery gazelle at the helm wants to get involved in the dogs-only management of the show, and is willing to pay handsomely for any useful blackmail material.